Tosho Balabanski, Josep Brugada, Elena Arbelo, Cécile Laroche, Aldo Maggioni, Carina Blomström-Lundqvist, Josef Kautzner, Luigi Tavazzi, Massimo Tritto, Piotr Kulakowski, Oskars Kalejs, Tamas Forster, Federico Segura Villalobos, Nikolaos Dagres, on behalf of the ESC-EHRA Atrial Fibrillation Ablation Long-Term Registry investigators Group
Aims: Monitoring of patients after ablation had wide variations in the ESC-EHRA atrial fibrillation ablation long-term (AFA-LT) registry. We aimed to compare four different monitoring strategies after catheter AF ablation.
Methods and results: The ESC-EHRA AFA-LT registry included 3593 patients who underwent ablation. Arrhythmia monitoring during follow-up was performed by 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter ECG, trans-telephonic ECG monitoring (TTMON), or an implanted cardiac monitoring (ICM) system. Patients were selected to a given monitoring group according to the most extensive ECG tool used in each of them. Comparison of the probability of freedom from recurrences was performed by censored log-rank test and presented by Kaplan–Meier curves. The rhythm monitoring methods were used among 2658 patients: ECG (N = 578), Holter ECG (N = 1874), TTMON (N = 101), and ICM (N = 105). A total of 767 of 2658 patients (28.9%) had AF recurrences during follow-up. Censored log-rank test discovered a lower probability of freedom from relapses, which was detected with ICM compared to TTMON, ECG, and Holter ECG (P < 0.001). The rate of freedom from AF recurrences was 50.5% among patients using the ICM while it was 65.4%, 70.6%, and 72.8% using the TTMON, ECG, and Holter ECG, respectively.
Conclusion: Comparing all main electrocardiographic monitoring methods in a large patient sample, our results suggest that post-ablation recurrences of AF are significantly underreported by TTMON, ECG, and Holter ECG. The ICM estimates AF ablation recurrences most reliably and should be a preferred mode of monitoring for trials evaluating novel AF ablation techniques.
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